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The word protein is of Greek origin, from the word proteios, which means “of prime importance.” That’s why it’s one of our 6 Pillars of Nutrition here at Breakthrough Fitness.

  • Protein, like fruits and vegetables, should be eaten at every meal. Take a look at your plate before you eat – if there isn’t protein, it isn’t a meal.
  • If fruits and vegetables are taking up one-half to three-quarters of your plate, protein should take up one-quarter to one-half of it.

We need protein for a variety of reasons. If we look at it through the lens of fat loss and improving body composition, optimizing our protein intake is important for:

Muscle retention

  • When we eat fewer calories than we are burning, we are in a calorie deficit.
  • When this happens, our body has a tendency to break down muscle to use for fuel and other processes in the body.
  • We don’t want this because muscle helps us burn more calories and is one the more important factors in health and longevity.
  • Research shows that by increasing protein intake to an optimal level, we can help maintain our muscle even when calories are limited.


  • When we train and work out, our body breaks down muscle.
  • We can only become stronger and fitter after our body rebuilds that muscle.
  • Protein is needed for this process. It signals our body to start building muscle and provides the building blocks to rebuild and repair muscle.


  • The feeling of fullness.
  • When we are full we wait longer before eating the next meal.
  • When you compare protein, fats and carbs, protein is the most satiating.
  • Pairing protein with fruits and vegetables gives you a killer 1-2 punch for controlling appetite and increasing satiety.

What counts as protein?

  • For all intents and purposes, we are talking about 1-2 palm-sized portions of lean animal protein (beef, chicken, pork, fish, tofu, lean plant-based meat alternatives).
  • Eggs, egg whites and dairy products are great sources of protein as well.

What do I mean by lean protein?

  • Removal of skin and visible external fat removed.
  • This will cut down on the excess fat.

Most Americans eat a small amount of protein at breakfast, a little at lunch and their largest amount at dinner. This means they are only hitting that muscle-building switch once per day.

If we just spread the same TOTAL amount of protein out across the 3 main meals, we can actually increase those muscle-building signals by 25%. It’s the same amount of protein, just used more effectively.

Keep moving,

Coach Dom

At Breakthrough Fitness, we help busy people across Oviedo become STRONGER. HEALTHIER.

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